Europe has given us a lot: the Inquisition, Marcquis de Sade, Nazism and various other indulgences and obsessions. But do we really know what Europeans are dying for in the kitchen these days? Join E&M’s distinguished chef on a fact-finding mission exploring haute cuisine in the time of Trump, fake news and migration. Presented are six dishes of the highest order guaranteed to make you chew your fingers to the bones.
Bitter far-right bon bon
An old European recipe which picked up speed after a few decades of absence of war. Fairly popular in the best Southern US eateries as well. Brought back into the spotlight by gentlemen seeking to preserve Christian values. Best cooked in an environment of complete detachment from reality of large chunks of the population and lack of trust between social classes.
Prep about an average white trash lifetime
Cook just 3-4 years on social benefits
Serves hundred of thousands of buffoons
1 manipulative guru bitch
5-10 pre-baked zealot disciples
A handful of territorially structured agitation cells
1 vague ideology, us-and-them flavoured
1 fake news outlet
2-3 growing social divides, politically exploited
A couple of hundred zested knuckleheads
Ample anger of the jobless
Ample silent government support
Put the leader in the centre of a bowl and arrange the disciples in a circle around him, choosing which ones are to serve as right, left hand and legs. Add ideology and stir well.
Set up the fake news outlet and procure Russian cash. Make sure to produce a solid layer of disinformation, giving the people what they want – a collective enemy to blame for their own failures.
Produce a mass effect and involve the young, one-two small-town neo-Nazi followers won’t do the trick. Navigate social divides skilfully to amplify the effect, separating globalisation losers from winners.
Agitate fervently so the dissatisfied are increasingly willing to take what they think is theirs. Mash in government endorsement. Serve hot.
Eternal student confit
This slow recipe will take a while to prepare, but the end result, an army of shiny well-formed intellectuals, is worth the wait.
Prep anywhere between 3 years and a lifetime
Cook as much as it takes to realize working sucks
Serves millions of graduates each year
A solid number of confused youngsters
A slate of universities with rosters to feed
3/4, even 1/2 of the desired academic funding
A good deal of copies of Marx’s Capital
1/3 intellectual titillation
1 tight job market
A sprinkle of misguided family advice
A pinch of anti-establishment vibe
Start early in life by inculcating in youngsters a competitive spirit telling them that you can just as well spend their college money on cocaine and hookers. Or giving them two options – study or work – and showing them pictures of child labourers in Africa’s cobalt mines.
Be a soulless neo-liberal, live prodigiously and have access to all political levers so they are disgusted with you and the establishment you represent.
Leave them to sit on the backbench for a while, sweat them in college with no other reward but empty career promises.
Soak them in leftist ideology, and then let them make a few loops between the nourishing womb of the university library and the squeezed labor market. Sooner or later they will realise that working is not for them – why stay in an office 8 hours per day when you can read, spread ideas or travel the world and prove that even ISIS thugs are humans?
Cook slowly until tender from academic exhaustion. You can put some in jars for up to three post-docs.
Classic dish with which you can surprise the whole family of top managers or cook at important events, such as company values workshops.
Prep 50 years
Cook 20 years
Serves 1 million neo-liberals
A well-rounded cut of profit
A whole clogged toilet
1/3 cheap labor
A few winks by politicians
1 tbsp slave tears
1/2 progress report
2-3 passing rebukes by managers
1/4 tbsp scorn to screw-up colleagues
Dissatisfaction and frustration to taste
Put on all the ingredients together into a processor and compute. The numbers won’t add up, but you need to justify that salary. Alternatively, you can try doing it by the book, but there are pitfalls, such as tax liability.
Labour should be fresh and well-ground – weed out any heads above 30, gruel well with plenty of overtime. Add slave tears to soften the blows of hardcore bureaucracy, give generously to decision-makers.
Be mean and vengeful to colleagues that perpetually screw things up, but never tell them anything. Deride the weak and underline their mistakes: they should know better how to crunch those projects.
Mince the profit and mix it well with your hands before shifting it to a low-tax country. Serve cold as the cash you made.
Rump of scapegoat
A fast but delicious munch with potential to please even the pickiest holocaust deniers.
Prep just half an hour to set the camera
Cook 1-2 days until fake news is picked by media
Serves all the patriots
1 pack of emaciated migrant rumps
1-2 refugee rescue ships in the Mediterranean
1 compassion deficit
1 economic slowdown
2-3 jihadist images, cropped
15 transparent dustbins
A handful of barbed wire rolls
A good deal of religious intolerance
A pinch of paranoia
Take the migrants out of the water and allow them to come to room temperature. Attach to their faces jihadist beards and distribute copies of the Koran. If they are too light-skinned apply bronzing base. Make good footage from all angles, trying to create the impression of huge numbers. Send the images to alternative reality media.
Toss together economic slowdown and lack of compassion to human suffering. Mix in technological advance to completely desensitise the locals. Sprinkle paranoia and fear of the future. Nothing will make sense anymore, while Christian values, the last moral reserve of the continent, will be filled with unfiltered Greek resort water.
Give the dustbins and barbed wire to politicians to play with, while you put a large frying pan and rub people’s sense of self-preservation until they would buy practically anything (save for maybe alien invasion), obliterating two centuries of enlightenment. Cook to your liking.
Slice the rump and serve with roasted dread.
Inefficient institutional soufflé
Giving an exquisite finale to any culinary adventure, the inefficient institutional soufflé is designed to titillate the palette of even the calmest pacifists.
Prep centuries of tax collection
Cook 5 years of bad staffing decisions
Serves disgruntled citizens
1 steep horizontal hierarchy
At least 50 douchbag managers
16 overlapping internal procedures
100 subscriptions for older versions of Windows
1/3 government priorities
1/2 of the necessary personnel, underpaid
Some half-baked reforms
Start idealistically by thinking that you can solve any problems. Pre-heat government priorities, follow instructions and do not mind they don’t make sense.
Add lobbyists. Seat them well on a table with decision-makers and let them butter those up. Separate integrity, policy continuity, social issues and reason from the interests of big corporations. Set the former aside as you will not need them. Stir the latter and beat until stiff – that is the soufflé base.
Give priority to order followers over initiators. Keep an eye on popular demand and political agendas. Don’t forget who brought you here. Appear to be patching up the glaring potholes while shifting your focus to second-tier policies that won’t attract the attention of your patrons.
The magic of soufflé is of course getting the top puffed up and fluffy. To achieve that gradually increase the number of incompetent managers at the expense of employees who actually work. Entangle their responsibilities until you get a solid layer of overblown administration. Throw in old Windows.
You can prick the top to see how empty your expectations have been.
Serve collapsed. Garnish with attitude.
Ruffled disunity fondant
Deserts are usually smooth, but for a unique taste we have chosen a recipe with which you could try something different – a crumbling neorealist catastrophe
Prep millenniums of strife
Cook a few decades of ignorance
Serves the entire continent
1 supranational organisation
3-4 clowns, put on top of key geopolitical players
27 nationalisms, inflated
2-3 former empires, reduced to dregs
Between 1/3 and 3/4 old animosity
2/3 identity issues
Ample Russian and US meddling
A good amount of globalisation pressure
Closed-mindedness to taste
Put the supranational organszation in a bowl and disintegrate on high temperature until it is no longer able to hold together the created economic ties. Try to keep the concoction stable by adding more social glue and fail.
Turn your gaze back to history and give voice to old animosities. Start adding fire to obsolete nationalisms as the soil is ripe – people are getting hungry again, and we all know what happens when common European folk are underfed.
Add together former empires and identity issues, giving them ground to lead the way into patriotic exceptionalism – they certainly know how.
Now is the time to colour the mixture by introducing new ingredients, such as terrorism for black (the ISIS flag), immigration for blue (seawater where migrants drown) and globalisation for yellow (urine, as people are pissed).
Mix in Russian meddling. If that is not enough add US meddling, transforming former friends into thinly-veiled enemies. Align the meddlers and beef up their disintegration agendas.
Use the cooled off icing to gloss over disparities one more time hoping for a miracle.